Fort Worth, Texas, football players waving Mexican flag was bad, then district made it worse
“J.P. Elder Middle School’s winning ways raise football expectations at North Side,” the Star-Telegram headline read. I love football. I’ll admit an initial wave of pride washing over me at the team’s accomplishment. It turns out that J.P. Elder had a perfect season, no losses.
As a self-described “liberty-loving Latino,” I couldn’t help but smile in recognition of the fact that Hispanics dominate the school. That smile quickly faded when I learned about the shameful conduct being undertaken at that same Fort Worth ISD school.
I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. At a government-run school event, a foreign nation’s flag was being proudly displayed. I was floored at the arrogance, ignorance and sheer brazenness of such a display. How could any school district that relies on the hard-earned money from American taxpayers allow students to display a foreign flag?
What sort of uneducated fool thinks the Mexican flag represents all Latinos or Hispanics? Indeed, if one wanted to fly a flag that did represent Hispanics from Cuba, Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras, Chile and the like, wouldn’t it be the American flag?
The greatness of America is that people can come here legally from any place on the planet. If you fully buy into our rule of law and the freedom, rights and responsibilities we pledge to each other through our mutual handshake, the Constitution, you become an American, regardless of your race, color, creed or national origin.
The Mexican flag stands for none of these things. Yet, in Fort Worth ISD, these principles of American greatness are apparently not being taught.
We were naturally curious about how this was going on in an American school system. After talking about this situation on the air, listeners began to inform us that they had been trying to get Fort Worth ISD to pay attention to their concerns.
One listener had an e-mail exchange with Todd Vesely, executive director of the district’s athletic department. After a lengthy back and forth, Vesely informed the concerned taxpayer that FWISD legal counsel had determined “players have a first amendment right of expression.”
That was Fort Worth school officials’ justification for allowing, with their full knowledge and blessing, the flying of the Mexican flag at an American, taxpayer-funded, school-sanctioned event.
That, of course, opened a whole new avenue of questions that I and my listeners had for Fort Worth ISD leaders. That was about seven weeks ago, and we have made repeated requests to the district, asking if someone would be made available to speak with us on the issue at J.P. Elder Middle School.
We’ve called the communications office. We’ve made multiple calls to Superintendent Kent Scribner’s office. To date, we have not been given the common courtesy of a “yes” or “no.”
The propriety of flying a foreign nation’s flag at American taxpayer funded events is an important discussion to have, as is the idea that it’s permissible because children have the right of free expression during a school activity.
But this unfortunate incident reveals something of far greater import: the arrogant and unaccountable attitude exhibited by big government. If community members complain, they are dismissed. If the media makes inquiries, they are ignored.
Government entities need to be held accountable for how they use taxpayer money. The way this issue and others have been addressed in the Fort Worth ISD typifies bloated and unaccountable government. Parents and taxpayers in the district should take note.